Lesson Plan

Grand Canyon Geology

Hiker studying the stone tower in Monument Creek.
Hiker studying the stone tower in Monument Creek.

NPS photo by Michael Quinn

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Grade Level:
Third Grade-Eighth Grade
Art, Conservation, Earth Science, Education, Environment, Geography, Geology, Paleontology, Physical Science, Social Studies, Tectonics, Volcanoes
National/State Standards:
Grand Canyon, Colorado Plateau, Colorado River, Conservation, geography, geology, natural resources, fossils, igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, plate tectonics, paleontology, deposition, erosion, limestone, sandstone, shale, fault


This set of activities expands students' knowledge of geology and introduces them to the processes that have shaped Grand Canyon.


Designed to enhance student learning about Grand Canyon geology, these lesson plans cover basic geologic principles such as erosion, plate tectonics, and geologic time. Activities can be performed before or after your geology field trip (Grand Canyon Rocks; Stories in Stone; or Dynamic Earth). If you are not attending a field trip to the park, most activities can be used independently in your classroom.

Lesson plans include:

  • Create a Cover
  • What's Inside the Earth?
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Which Rock am I?
  • Grand Canyon Geologic Timeline
  • Canyon Carver
  • Make a Fossil
  • Fossilization Game
  • Color the Grand Canyon
Click here to access Grand Canyon Geology lesson plans.

Additional Materials:

Geologic Timeline cards

Learn about ranger-led field trips at Grand Canyon National Park.


Colorado Plateau; Colorado River; Conservation; Geography; Geology; Environment; Erosion; Fault; Fossil; Igneous; Sedimentary; Metamorphic; Lava; Law of Superposition; Limestone; Sandstone; Shale; Paleontology; South Rim; North Rim

Last updated: February 24, 2015